What are the legal requirements for me to audio tape
at my home or business?
THE LAW: REGARDING AUDIO SURVEILLANCE United
States Codes, Title 18, Section 2510 (2) states: “Oral
communication means any “oral communication” uttered by a person
exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to
interception under circumstances justifying such expectation.” By
definition of the code section, a person cannot have an expectation
of privacy, nor can he or she expect that communication will not be
intercepted, if there are public signs posted, indicating that the
communication is being monitored. The First Amendment of the
Constitution provides that any conversation between individuals is
private, unless otherwise notified.
In simple terms, this means that ANY overhearing or recording of a
illegal ... unless both parties are aware that it is being done. In
order to comply with
the law, SVC notifies all customers that a disclaimer stating,
“AUDIO MONITORING ON THESE PREMISES.” MUST be affixed, IN PLAIN
VIEW, to all entrances where microphones are installed.
Is it legal for me to video tape at my home or
In general, most video recordings are legal in the
U.S. with or without consent. Laws do exist regarding “Invasion of
Privacy” which deals with the area of expected privacy. These
include areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms, changing/dressing
rooms, adult bedrooms, and other areas where a person should expect
a high level of personal privacy. While the majority of laws dealing
with video recording privacy issues tend to allow surreptitious
recording and monitoring of video activity under most circumstances
without notification of any of the parties involved, it is highly
recommended that you consult with your local or state law
enforcement or an attorney who specializes in this area to comply
with all local laws and regulations prior to utilization of video
surveillance and monitoring. It is also advised that
notice/disclaimer of “Video Surveillance on These Premises,” be
prominently displayed in
When is covert video surveillance illegal?
The subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
(Fourth Amendment rights)
The subject is engaged in sexual activity (even if
one of the partners consents.)
If audio eavesdropping is also taking place (without
consent of the parties and/or
When may covert video surveillance illegal?
The person with authority over the premises has not
The reason for the video surveillance fosters an
If under the Sixth Amendment principles the subject
has the right to counsel.
When should covert video surveillance be avoided?
A less intrusive, legal investigative method is
Whenever you feel uncertain about the legality or
ethics of the installation.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained
herein is general in nature and should
not be considered legal advice.